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DHCR - denial of services - unsafe condition

NYC Rent Regulation: Rent Control/Rent Stabilized, DHCR Practice/Procedures

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DHCR - denial of services - unsafe condition

Postby backhoe » Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:53 am

I'm a rent-stabilized tenant in a small building occupied by a commercial tenant on the first floor and residential tenants above. I am the only remaining rent stabilized tenant. The commercial tenant allows entry to any person who wishes to enter the building without knowing who they are. This creates, of course, a serious safety issue for the entire building. The landlord knows this, has even sanctioned it, and has not acted on numerous complaints.

I'm about to lodge a DHCR complaint for denial of services (lack of secure entry door). Would appreciate any thoughts on the foregoing from tenants experienced in this kind of thing, particularly if there are any legal or DHCR cases I should be aware of in this kind of situation. Thanks very much.
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Re: DHCR - denial of services - unsafe condition

Postby TenantNet » Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:37 am

Can you explain the layout of the building as to how the commercial tenant has access to the residential part of the building? I assume you mean residential hallways.

Are there two separate entrances to the building? Do they intersect at any point? For what purpose would the commercial tenant send someone into the residential area? And is the commercial tenant related to the LL in any way?

Is the front door secure? Is there a buzzer/intercom system? If not have you complained about that?
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Re: DHCR - denial of services - unsafe condition

Postby backhoe » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:25 am

The commercial tenant is the ground floor tenant, and shares the lobby with the residential tenants - there is only one entrance, which leads to the ground floor lobby shared by both the commercial tenant and the residential tenants. Thus anyone who enters through the front door can go upstairs to the residential apartments.

Yes, the front door has a buzzer/intecom system, which is utilized by the commercial tenant so that every person enters without being asked who he or she is. The commercial tenant is unrelated to the landlord, but pays rent for two floors and is without question the largest source of revenues for the building. There are more details but I am a bit concerned about sharing them in a public forum.
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Re: DHCR - denial of services - unsafe condition

Postby TenantNet » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:10 pm

Is the commercial tenant a storefront? What kind of business is it ... retail store, offices, something else?

Does it have a separate entrance to the street? Or is the only way to get to the commercial tenant's space through the shared lobby?

Anything private you can share by using a Private Message (find the "PM" button to the left that you can direct to the moderator (me) or other users. You are right not to put anything that could identify you on a public forum.
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Re: DHCR - denial of services - unsafe condition

Postby backhoe » Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:13 pm

Only way to enter the business is through the shared lobby. Doctor's offices. No separate entrance and not a storefront.
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Re: DHCR - denial of services - unsafe condition

Postby TenantNet » Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:09 pm

The problem is that you have a working bell-buzzer system, which probably satisfies the requirements of the Housing Maintenance Code and the Multiple Dwelling Law. See http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/buildings/ru ... _42-01.pdf

As for DHCR, they look at required services on or after the base date (usually 1974). What constitutes a "required service" can be hard to define. You have a working intercom/buzzer.

Your problem is not a broken buzzer, but how the building is laid out. What's the alternative? No one will tell the owner or doctor's office they must create a new door to the street. And it's quite common for NYC buildings to have doctor/dentist offices on the 1st or 2nd floors.

Do you have a guard or doorman that can make sure people only go to the offices? Di you have a doorman at any time in the past?
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Re: DHCR - denial of services - unsafe condition

Postby backhoe » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:29 pm

No. I was looking at this in terms of landlord responsibility for commercial tenant nuisance, and the precedents for that, as the landlord admits that the tenant's behavior is unacceptable but has failed to curb it and has actually encouraged and sanctioned their behavior.
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Re: DHCR - denial of services - unsafe condition

Postby TenantNet » Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:46 pm

Without creating a new physical entrance (unrealistic), the only real alternative I can see is some deterrent the LL could supply to keep doctor patients from roaming your halls. Obviously a doorman or guard could do that, but you say it's a small building so that might also be realistic. And from a rent stab view, unless that had previously been provided, they won't order a LL to start providing it.

Have you had any problems or incidents? Can you show LL negligence? That's a legal term that must show a number of things. See http://injury.findlaw.com/accident-inju ... gence.html

The LL could put in a second locked door (beyond the commercial entrance) to secure the tenant area, but this might create issues with legal egress, and tenants might not like it. Make sure all the tenants are on the same page.
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Re: DHCR - denial of services - unsafe condition

Postby backhoe » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:05 pm

Or terminate buzzer service to the doctor tenant, or as a last resort eviction. There are other factors I can't get into, including negligence and beyond.
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Re: DHCR - denial of services - unsafe condition

Postby TenantNet » Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:26 pm

Those solutions are not feasible.
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